DENVER -- An understandably hot topic that has followed the Pirates around for six weeks -- kudos for and analysis of their surprising contention -- naturally got amplified at Coors Field, in Clint Hurdle's former hot spot. However, while doling out the usual share of props for the guys playing for him, Hurdle declined to acknowledge any of the personal satisfaction to which he seemed entitled. Returning with a contender to the scene of one's dismissal three years ago should be worth a few points. Still, Hurdle said it's "not about personal satisfaction for me. If I can coach them up, as much off as on the field, that's fine."
The highlight of Hurdle's 6 1/2 seasons as Colorado manager was the 2007 steamroll into the postseason and ultimately into the World Series. "The personal satisfaction I do get here," Hurdle said, "is looking at that flag in left field, and knowing I played a small part in hanging a National League championship flag in a place where, for so many years, I was told it could not be done." Kinda like what Pittsburgh has listened to for two decades? "We brought good times [to Denver] for so many people who'd been through trying times," Hurdle said. "That's what we're building [with the Pirates]. People who have been around for so long are starting to get loud and proud."